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Tim R

Ensō and the Koan Mu!

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Maybe some of you know the famous Koan:  "Does a dog have Buddha nature?" - "Mu!" 

This Koan is of course absurd and meaningless, because everything is Buddha-nature, so what the master wants to hear is not "mu" or "hai" ("yes"), he wants to hear the true self in the student, i.e. the Buddha say "mu". In other words, he wants to get the student to understand that everything is Buddha, including himself and him saying "mu". But so long as the student makes a difference between a "wrong" Mu and a "true" Mu, the master won't accept his answer, no matter what he says.

And as soon as the student realizes that every Mu is the true Mu, he solved the Koan. 

I was just sitting at my desk and trying to do some Japanese Zen calligraphy - I wanted to do this for a long time, but didn't dare to draw an Ensō (the circle, the symbol for emptiness, Mu), because I thought that before I "am allowed" to draw a "real Ensō", I must realize what the Ensō stands for. Otherwise I would be drawing a "wrong" Ensō. 

I just realized the solution to the Koan above - all Ensō are true Ensō. There are no mistakes.

IMG_20210419_183138[1].jpg


"Love is all that I can give to you ❤ Love is more than just a game for two!"

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JErVP6xLZwg 

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Nice post, have you done the Mu Koan with a teacher? I never got as far as studying Koans (tho I did practice with a Rinzai teacher for a while). With drawing the circle, I can see how you need to do it unselfconsciously, spontaneously, it looks like a meditation in itself.


"This is death already."  Jim Newman.

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